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New Jersey auto insurance consumers are required to carry a certain minimum level of car insurance coverage. In many cases, buying only the minimum level of auto insurance coverage set by New Jersey lawmakers will not be enough to provide adequate levels of protection. As a New Jersey resident, you will need to buy Liability and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.

New Jersey Auto Insurance: Liability Coverage

There are two parts to the Liability coverage that New Jersey residents need to have in place before driving a vehicle: Bodily Injury and Property Damage.

Bodily Injury insurance coverage pays out when a driver is responsible for injuring or killing someone as the result of a motor vehicle accident. New Jersey drivers must have a minimum of $15,000 in coverage for damages sustained by one person in an accident, with a maximum of $30,000 for all people injured in the same accident.

Property Damage insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the other vehicle involved in the accident, as well as any other property damaged as a result of the collision. In this situation, "property" refers to such things as a fence, shed, building, light post, garage, or signage.

Insurance policies have exclusions, and you need to be aware that you may not have coverage in all circumstances. Here are some common exclusions that may apply to your policy:

  1. The damage or injuries were sustained as the result of a deliberate act on your part.
  2. The vehicle was not listed on your insurance policy at the time of the accident. This exclusion applies even if the individual behind the wheel is a named driver on your policy.
  3. Damage occurred while you were in the process of transporting people or goods where you were being paid a fee to do so.
  4. The property damaged as the result of the accident was owned or rented by the policyholder.

Your bodily injury coverage will not pay for injuries suffered by you as the result of an accident. In addition, it will not pay a death benefit if you are killed.

New Jersey Auto Insurance: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In New Jersey, if you buy Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, the coverage limits you choose cannot be higher than the level of coverage you have selected for your Bodily Injury and Property Damage policy. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage pays benefits if you are injured or your property is damaged by a driver who either does not have insurance coverage or who does not have sufficient coverage to pay for all damages.

In the case of an underinsured driver, once his or her policy limits have been reached, your plan will pay the difference (up to the policy limit you have put in place). You will want to make sure you have adequate coverage in place to pay for injuries sustained in a serious accident, the cost of which may be substantial.

New Jersey Auto Insurance: Consumer Rights

  1. New Jersey residents are entitled to fair and equal treatment from companies selling auto insurance.
  2. Insurance companies are legally obligated to tell consumers about all the car insurance options available to them. This information must be revealed when you are in the market for a new insurance policy or any time you ask for it.
  3. Consumers have the right to information about how much the level of coverage they are considering will cost and what the policy will pay for if an accident occurs.
  4. You are not limited to shopping for car insurance when your policy is up for renewal. Looking for a new policy is something that you can do at any time.
  5. Switching policies can be done at any time you like, and the insurance company must refund any unused premium payments.
  6. Your policy coverage and/or limits can be changed at any time you like, not just when the policy is close to being renewed. If the new changes you choose to implement result in a lower premium, the insurance company must refund the unused portion of your premium payment within 60 days.

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